Cameron's announcement today that a fast-track boundary review to be completed within a year will be presented to Parliament together with the referendum proposals on the AV vote system in May 2011 is welcomed, though it will cause agony to the comrades. Finally our government is bringing fairness to our electoral system - though not the sort of 'fairness' that Brown bleated about, which was rather the entrenchment of discrimination.
The Electoral Quota, the number of registered electors per constituency that should define the boundaries of each seat, is currently around 69,000 - 45m registered electors and 650 Constituencies. In Australia, this is not allowed to vary by more than +/- 3.5%, and in New Zealand it's 5%. If 5% were applied to the UK, all seats with fewer than 65,550 electors or more than 72,450 would be re-drawn. In %age terms, the UK is off the scale of international democracy.
Many of those seats with fewer than 65,550 voters are held by Labour. Many of those with more than 72,450 are Conservative. So the comrades will howl at losing their unfair advantage.
Increasing the Electoral Quota (EQ) to 78,000 across the Union - and there are real suggestions that this is what Cameron intends to do - will also reduce the number of Parliamentary seats from 650 to 577. New seats, if the New Zealand 5% limit is adopted, will have between 74,100 and 81,900 registered voters.
Scotland's current EQ is 54,728, giving them 71 MPs. If a national EQ of 78,000 were applied, that would reduce to 50. Wales has an EQ of 55,640, giving them 40 MPs. This would reduce to 29.
Labour say that this is unfair because their supporters are less likely to register. Duh? From the rampant electoral fraud that has recently emerged, it seems more likely that Labour voters actually register religiously - and several times, too.
OK, as a Localist you might expect me to oppose any reduction of local representation. Not the case. Since I also believe that Parliament should confine itself to national issues that cannot be devolved, including defence, international treaties, air traffic control, the justice system and a few others, I also believe the need is not for more MPs at Westminster but much greater local democratic representation and much greater local power.
The only fly in the ointment is the no-doubt LibDem initiative in the air for State funding of the parties - and this I will go to the barricades to fight. As for the rest, bring it on!